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UK Front - the brothers Hatton and Audley Harrison

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  • According to Boxing Scene, the news of Ricky Hatton's impending retirement has been greatly overstated. In an interview with Sky Sports, he's told the network that not only isn't he retiring, but he's hard in training.  Per the Scene, people close to his camp say he's still waffling about whether he wants to come back, but he's at the very least trying to take off some of his excess baggage.  Hatton should be getting in shape anyway, before the only comeback fight he can make is against Naseem Hamed at cruiserweight.
  • Ricky Hatton the promoter, however, has managed to pull a rabbit out of his hat for his little brother.  Matthew Hatton now has a shot lined up for the European welterweight title, against Gianluca Branco, in only two weeks.  This will be on the Anthony Small-Sam Webb undercard on March 26.  Branco was the European light welterweight champ, but moved up to challenge for the vacant welterweight belt.  He was slated to face former paper titlist Yuriy Nuzhnenko, but when they couldn't secure a TV date, Hatton stepped in.
  • With the news that Vitali Klitschko will be facing Albert Sosnowski, that leaves gold medalist Audley Harrison without a dance partner.  If they can get an opponent, he should still be fighting on April 9 for the now vacant European title.  The fight has been offered to Alexander Dimitrenko, although it seems unlikely that he would step in on such short notice.  The other top contenders for the title are Alexander Povetkin (a possibility if he doesn't suffer any damage this weekend), Nicolai Valuev (hard to imagine he'd take it for short money), Tomasz Adamek (not in training), Francisco Pianeta, Denis Bakhtov and Sam Sexton.  Most likely is Michael Sprott, who's already training for a fight at the end of the month, and is ranked 8th, despite losing 4 of his last 5.